Very interesting perspective! I wonder about the efficacy of open innovation for solving problems as important and as complex as the ones that NASA is working on and how the real R&D professional at NASA feel about this. I agree that open innovation promotes learning and a differentiated approach – and in certain instances I think it’s very effective. But, to think that someone could contribute meaningfully to help solve actual “rocket science” seems somewhat far-fetched, and I would think the extra “noise” this creates in a NASA employee’s life at work would serve as more of an annoyance than a positive contribution – not to mention the privacy / security issues that might come along with this type of open forum.
Great article! My main curiosity revolves around the actual application of machine learning in a space dominated by “mind share”, or brand awareness. The highest market share beer is Bud Light, but I can guarantee that Bud Light is not the beer recognized for best taste – rather brand awareness and relative ubiquity. So my point is… although I understand how machine learning is helping Carlsberg test consumer tastes / reactions effectively and efficiently, but I would postulate that most beer consumers already have a perception on Carlsberg’s taste, and so improving the taste to be more geared toward consumer preference would not be as effective as “buying” new tastes – i.e., buying up smaller craft- and microbreweries. This would be faster and is a way to completely differentiate from the existing brand’s taste. Also, how much of the beer-drinking population knows the difference between “acidity” vs. “hoppy” vs. [other beer measurement]? As we have seen in our multiple beer cases, a majority of beer brands are owned by a conglomerate – namely AB InBev and SABMiller. However, this could also be a marketing tool – e.g., “Carlsberg beer has reinvented the product by defining the ‘perfect’ beer by using machine learning.” Gimmicky? Yes. Effective? Maybe.
I agree that wearables have become somewhat of a commodity, and although they have garnered relative success, they still don’t possess the functionality to drive widespread adoption. WHOOP, however, seems like it might be a game-changer, given it is based in machine learning and thus has higher potential for functionality. This is especially interesting given the broader movement toward a healthier, more active lifestyle. As it seems like this product would warrant a high sticker price, I think the initial target would be high-performance athletes or those with health issues – e.g. diabetes. However, once initial adoption takes place, I could see word spreading to a more general population that recognizes the higher functionality / reliability of the product.
I had no idea 3D-printing could apply to more complex products such as eyeglasses. This is very interesting, especially given the increased competition in the eyeglasses space – between luxury brand manufacturers like Safilo, direct-to-consumer models like Warby Parker, and specialty purpose models like Felix Gray. This could present a unique opportunity for Safilo, but I also agree that it could threaten the luxury aspect that they have already established. However, the customization option that 3D-printing allows for could create a unique competitive advantage. I don’t know of any well-known eyeglass brands that offer wide customization options with any sort of speed / efficiency, which could be an opportunity if Safilo fully leverages this model.
This is a very interesting article, especially in light of the recent Nike case in marketing! My main question: Does the consumer really care how its shoes are produced or is it more of a gimmick? As a consumer, my only concern would revolve around quality control – just make sure my shoes are as functional / comfortable as non-3D-printed shoes. The obvious benefit is to the manufacturer. R&D becomes more powerful, making innovation more attainable, and mass production allows for major cost synergies – and would also allow Nike to further distance itself from suspicious employment practices.